Hauz Khas Village, 15 October – 15 November 2014
JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, 23 August – 30 September 2014
The art of the twentieth century may be too recent for us to judge it from the viewpoint of longevity, but if the past is any criterion, art is set to outlive us by far—a reason why its documentation is one of the more important tasks before us. This is where the Manifestations series is so important. It encourages discussion and debates around the selection of unique works by seventy-five acknowledged artists spanning a century (or more) of Indian modernism across a range of variously permutable combinations: periods, movements, mediums, materials, regions.
How accurately does the series represent the modern century? One may say with a measure of confidence that some works in this selection are significant representations of modern art that would not be out of place in a museum collection. They include popular artists, as also those less well known to a lay public but whose contribution to the development of art has been extraordinary enough to qualify as momentous.
This edition—the eleventh in the series—is significant because with it, DAG returns to where it debuted with the series with the Manifestations in 2003, i.e., Mumbai. Editions II to X were launched in New Delhi, so it is with considerable pride this exhibition opens in Mumbai. There is much that has changed in the interim. The art market has seen record highs (and lows), many artists have gone beyond, the importance of Indian art has grown internationally, though not nearly as much as it should have, DAG now has a landmark of its own in the city, and with this exhibition it marks another milestone—a partnership with JW Marriott, where this edition is being exhibited.
The exhibited works have all been extensively researched and documented. Accompanying texts point out the highlights and uniqueness of each work, suggesting a way to look at and understand the paintings and sculptures. The artist’s vision, the social climate of the time and the art writer’s interpretation combine to offer valuable insights. This continuing attempt to chart the course of Indian art history has been a privilege, something DAG is happy to share with its viewers.